IRISH minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue highlighted the
need to protect farmers and farm workers by im-plementing a culture of farm safety practices into everyday work life at the IFA Farm Safety event at the Porter family farm in County Donegal.
This was part of a series of events organised by IFA as part of Farm Safety Week to shine a spotlight on farm safety and encourage farmers to join the challenge to make one change to make their farm a safer place to work and live.
Speaking at an IFA Farm Safety event in Carrigans, the Minister said: “Farming is the most dan-gerous occupation in terms of fatalities in the workplace, with children and the elderly particularly. It is clear that attitudes and behaviours need to change and unsafe practices must become socially unacceptable.
“Many fatal and non-fatal incidents can be prevented by simple changes in behaviour and practices. Almost half of farm fatalities involve vehicles and machinery. PTO guards are inexpensive and shouldn’t cost an arm or a leg, never mind a life.”
The minister added: “Together with minister of state with responsibility for farm safety, Martin Heydon, TD, we are implementing a series of initiatives in 2022 through dedicated funding of €2.25m that was allocated to farm safety in Budget 2022.
“These initiatives promote im-proved farm safety practices and risk awareness and encourage behavioural change around farm safety, while also supporting those who have been impacted by fatal and non-fatal incidents.
“Changing our attitudes and behaviours can have a major effect on improving farm safety, health and wellbeing.
“We need to think farm safety as we go about our farm work
and always err on the side of safety.”
IFA President Tim Cullinan encouraged farmers during Farm Safety Week to take time to review working practices to ensure a safe place to work.
“The rate of farm accidents and fatalities is too high and we need to make changes and think safety first. It is essential that we reduce the risks in our workplace. Every safety procedure put in place will reduce the risk of accident or worse. We need to adapt a stronger culture of farm safety, and we are asking farmers to do this now.”
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